Monday, September 17, 2012

GUTGAA Pitch Contest #40: THE PARTIZANS


THE PARTIZANS
YA Paranormal
79,000

Query

Becoming a witch isn’t what sixteen-year-old Hannah Slaughtery expects when enrolls in an exclusive boarding school.  Neither is fighting against monsters she doesn’t believe in.

After an aerial assault by mythical basilisks, Hannah discovers she’s one of five students at the school that make up the next generation of Partizans, a band of supernatural warriors whose origins date back to the dawn of man. In order to stand against a ruthless and tyrannical empire of demons, Hannah must make a choice. Either she refuses her calling and enters a supernatural witness protection program to save her adopted family, or she overcomes her fear and accepts her demon-filled legacy.

Regardless of her decision, there’s one thing Hannah knows for sure: the carefree days of her youth have come to a screeching halt.

First 150 Words

Hannah Slaughtery’s courage faltered as the iron gate creaked open. The late afternoon sunlight filtered through the snow-topped pine trees as she steered her car through the fence, the only thing separating Piaculum Academy from the rest of the world. As she inched forward, something in the air sent a shiver down her spine. It was as if the wind was charged with bursts of electricity and her skin tingled from the connection.  She couldn’t explain why, but for the first time in her life, Hannah realized she felt safe. No. She felt like she was coming home.

Up ahead was a security checkpoint with tinted windows. As she pulled up to the window, a guard with a military haircut and aviator sunglasses opened the window and Hannah thought she caught a whiff of coconut sunscreen, which struck her as odd seeing as how it was early January.

2 comments:

  1. Ooo, sounds interesting! Love the idea of a supernatural witness protection program (even though it sounds like she won't choose that option). And the first line of your 150 is great--sets the tone for the rest.

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  2. PITCH: While this is well-written and very clear as to stakes, I don’t get a good sense of Hannah’s character. This is one case where I’d recommend lengthening the pitch to include a little bit more about who she is. If we don’t know her, great stakes don’t matter.
    FIRST 150: I like that this turns the apprehension-about-entering-a-boarding-school trope around because she actually feels safe, like she’s “coming home,” yet I’m not as hooked as I could be. First, the story’s beginning with her going in to school, and second, she feels safe. That makes me too comfortable, and I need a little more tension. This is a case where I wish we were reading the first 250 words instead of just 150, because I really want to follow that coconut sunscreen detail to see why it’s important.

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